Complex Pasts: Diverse Future | Egyptian Civilization

Now let us know about the highly developed Egyptians

Egyptian Civilization

Egyptian civilization is one of the most ancient one which takes us back to 3100 BCE. This civilization of ancient north Africa was developed along the Nile river, which contributes to a fertile land suitable for agriculture, which gave birth to civilization and also urbanization in the later period. People were pushed closer to the Nile as a result of the expansion of the great desert of Africa, The Sahara, in search of water resources. There is no clear explanation for this expansion, just views and opinions.

Egypt's history can be split into old, middle and new kingdom periods. There were intermediate periods also which did not unify the Egypt's political power. The seasons of ancient Egypt were set in accordance with the flooding of the Nile river annually. This flooding became vital as it deposited nutrient rich soil every year. Now as we see there were times when the Nile did not flood. This resulted in poor soil fertility, which eventually lead to food shortage. This shortage of food has political effects as well which was the main reason for the intermediate periods with unified politics.

Mao of Ancient egyptian

Old kingdom period: 2686-2181 BCE

Egypt stands unified during this period. In this period the first pyramid was built. Pyramids and monuments were built during this period, including the Great Sphinx of Giza and the pyramid of Khafre. The interesting fact is that the people who built these pyramids were not slaves but they were peasants who worked during the agricultural off-season. Taxation was imposed on all the people in the form of a worker sent from each house to do projects like these and the rich people can pay money instead of working. So Each house had to either provide labor or pay money. During this period ships were also built to trade goods such as incense, gold, copper and also Lebanese cedar.

Architecture and the amazing sculptures of Ancient Egyptian civilization. The great Sphinx of Giza

Middle kingdom:2000-1700 BCE

During this period kings were able to unify Egypt. Egyptian kingdoms kept well trained armies and military forces. But even then there seemed to be political disputes which became an advantage for the Hyksos from the Middle East, not being native to Egypt. Around 1650 BCE they imposed their political ruler. However they gave cultural and technological innovations. Working with bronze, pottery techniques, new breeds of crops and animals, the horse chariot and even fortification techniques for the sake of war.

New Kingdom: 1550 - 1077 BCE

The expulsion of the Hyksos led to the centralized political power and once again unified Egypt. There was this female ruler, Hatshepsut who established better trade connections. This resulted in building the wealth, which also led to new projects as well as the impressive mortuary temple known as Deir el-Bahri. Repairs were done to the temples which had been neglected during the period of Hyksos. The name pharoah was given to the king’s palace but during this period the king himself was addressed as pharoah. The pharoahs were associated with good Amun-Ra following the idea of divine kingship. pharoah’s like 

Seti I and Ramesses II were significant as they fought to expand Egypt against west and the north ruled by Libians and Hittites respectively. The Egyptian and hittites fought several battles and finally it led to the world’s first peace treaty.

Temples and monuments of ancient egyptians

Some amazing facts of Egypt:

  1. Cleopatra was not believed to be an Egyptian, even though she was the queen of Egypt. She belonged to the Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt from the time Alexander’s death.

  2. The Egyptian-Hittite treaty is the earliest treaty and a copy is even being put in the entrance of the UN security council chamber.

  3. Egyptians were fond of playing board games and some of the games were “Mehen” and “Dogs and Jackals”. The most famous game was “Senet”.

  4. Women of Egypt had their rights and freedom even though they were considered to be inferior to men. They were financially and legally independent.

  5. Protests were made by the Egyptian workers for betterment of work conditions.

  6. Men and women of Egypt wore makeup which was considered to protect and heal their skin and perfumes made of oil, myrrh and cinnamon.

  7. Cat was a sacred animal in ancient Egypt and was associated with goddess Bastet.

  8. Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to have pets as these animals were compared to God.

  9. The Pharoah always had his hair covered, because it has to not be seen by common people.

  10. The Egyptian’s believed in afterlife and that’s why mummification was done as to live the after-life.

Ancient egyptians and their lifestyle

Complex pasts, diverse future:

Though we are talking about the civilization of Egypt fifty centuries ago. The standard of living and the technological development that we have achieved today is beyond the imagination and cannot be compared to the ancient civilization. Even then ancient Egypt stands unique and amazes the people with their innovative techniques achieved in the historic period. The way women have used makeup and the way they considered it to be for health benefits tells us how they concentrated on the smallest of things.

The civilization has impacted the people of today in the way they communicate, dress up and eat. Though there was evolution, until now people know their history and are proud to have one of the wonders of the world. The way women were treated equally has set an example for today’s world. The ancient versions of home security and ventilations have evolved but they were a major contribution. Anything that is included as the culture of Egypt must have been a contribution by the ancient Egyptian’s.

 In fact every state or every country and even every region follows it’s own culture and traditional values. Each culture has its own story and a surprising past which was contributed by our ancestors. Although we talk about global language or global education, eventually it’s our responsibility to preserve the traditions and cultural values as it is an asset to us and also the identity of how humans have made a living in the past. As we say “United we live, divided we fall”  we not only live with unity but also preserve our culture with pride and honor. 

Complex pasts and diverse future. The identity held by each region and the diversified cultures


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